It has been a while
Two months have passed since the first official planting action, we even went to check the planted tree seedlings and still there was no blog post about it :(. But a lot has happened since then. Our to be planted counter rose to 22 trees. We entered the local final of “Philanthropy for green ideas” and pitched Treebanks there. There was “Social impact award” where we entered the finals together with 9 different ideas, hopefully this September we will be in the first three. And well yes we reach today a hot summer July night perfect for telling the story about the first Trebanks planting action.
This spring the weather forecast in Macedonia has been changing from day to day, there was a lot of rain, very cold periods, too sunny days. This led to few postponements and a lot of discussion when to do the planting action. It is good that early this year we pivoted our planting strategy to planting container tree seedlings, because spring reached the start of the vegetation of the trees. After a lot of hesitation the planting date boiled down to 13th of April 2019
Early in the morning
The weather forecast for the day was that there will be rain in the afternoon. All in all we had was few hours to plant all the trees. Around 7am we started loading my car trunk with tree seedlings and the weather was cloudy and dark, not promising at all. The planting action started during the loading. A curious member of ZLT Goten asked what are these trees for, after a short explanation of our goal, He asked as any macedonian would do, if he can have a couple of free tree seedlings, He wanted to plant them in the wild animal shelter they have. On this we agreed with pleasure and gave him 10 tree seedlings. He gave a promise to return the plastic containers so we can reuse them. The first party of trees started in the trunk of my car.
At 10 am our team met with the volunteers for the planting action. The youngest planter is 9 years old and the oldest is our team member Mitko. Our idea behind the planting actions is to educate the volunteers on tree planting, the proper method on how to plant trees, what the trees mean on local and global scale. For this reason we contact the local NGOs, scout and sport organizations to participate in the planting actions. For the first planting action we had volunteers from Ploca climbing club – Radovish, some U.S. citizens which are working for Peace Corps Macedonia and some locals which were interested and willing to help. Even before the start we felt the positive energy between all of us, despite the cloudy weather and the possibility for rain.
Together with an employee from Macedonian Forests we headed towards the location where we are supposed to plant the trees. The location was above the village of Podaresh, a place where the forest was destroyed by a fire that took place few years back. Half way up the road we stopped the cars because the road was destroyed by the rains. This complicated the things a bit, because the exact location was 1km away from where the cars were. But with workative and positive people everything can be solved.
Because of the blocked road we needed to bring the tree seedlings by hand to the planting location. Everyone took what they can and we continued to the location by foot. This led in dividing ourself in three groups, transporters, hole diggers and planters. Mitko held short presentation on how to plant a tree, from how to dig a hole, how to extract the tree from the container, how to plant it in the hole, to where to put the extra soil so it will retain water if rain falls. After the presentation everyone took their position and we started working. While the others were digging holes and planting trees, my friend Kosta and I transported all the tree seedlings by hand from the car to the planting location.
During the break some of the young volunteers realized that this is their first time planting anything. This for us was one of the most positive thing from the planting action. As the time went by the weather changed from cloudy to sunny which was a relief. After 3 hours we had 400 trees planted. We called it a day, gathered everything we brought and went home. An hour after we finished it started raining, there was no better way to finish the first planting action.
The follow up
Every day since we planted the trees a spark of curiosity was smoldering our thoughts, did we succeeded?, what is our success rate? One weekend we had some free time and decided to revisit the planting location. What we saw gave us motivation and inspiration to work on Treebanks even more. 99% percent of the trees we planted were alive, we found only one broken root. Help us reach our goal, lets plant million trees together, book your next trip starting from Treebanks. Till the next story.